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Calls Arise to Name Hanoi Street for John McCain


FILE - Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. speaks at a rally outside Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, Nov. 3, 2008.

U.S. Senator John McCain's career-long impact on U.S. foreign affairs was recognized Monday in tributes from across Asia and the Middle East, including tributes from national leaders and calls for a street to be named after him in the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi.

"We offer our condolences to the family and friends of Senator John McCain who was a great friend of AFG (Afghanistan). Senator McCain served his country honorably in uniform and his service in the Senate is truly exemplary," wrote Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Twitter. McCain advocated for more troops and resources for Afghanistan in its fight against militants.

Afghanistan's Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah also expressed condolences on McCain's death on his Twitter page.

Condolence messages poured in from neighboring Pakistan, a country McCain visited several times.

Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the thoughts and prayers of the people of Pakistan are with the family and friends of Senator McCain. "As Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, Senator McCain always stood for strong Pakistan-US relations and a cooperative approach for promoting peace and building stability in the region."

He will be greatly missed in Pakistan, Qureshi added. Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa also conveyed his condolences to McCain's family.

Most surprising, perhaps, were calls for McCain to be honored in Vietnam, the country where he was held as a prisoner of war for more than five years after being shot down on a bombing raid in 1967. Years later, he played a key role in the reconciliation process that helped end decades of enmity after the Vietnam War.

"From an enemy to a friend, and frankly a benefactor," wrote Bui Hoang Tam on the Facebook page of VOA's Vietnamese Service. "Rising above hatred, forgetting rancor, doing favors, he deserves to have a street named after him in Hanoi. I — citizen Bui Hoang Tam — would like to request Hanoi to have a street that bears Mr. McCain's name."

At least two other readers posted similar demands that a Vietnamese street be named for the senator.

In Bangladesh, from where McCain adopted his daughter Bridget in 1993, the country's foreign minister said he was deeply saddened by McCain's passing and called the senator a great friend of Bangladesh.

"Late Senator McCain, who was a real American hero and a tall leader in the public service of the nation, was always a strong voice for global humanity, which was reflected in his many commendable works in the Senate including in recent times his firm stand against the atrocities on the Rohingyas in Myanmar, and for holding the perpetrators accountable," said Bangladesh's Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mohmood Ali.

In Iraq, the prime minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government called McCain's passing a "a tremendous loss for the people of Kurdistan."

"He was a true friend and a staunch advocate of the rights of the Kurdistan people. He did his best, at every opportunity, to defend and protect the basic rights of the people of Kurdistan," said Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani.

VOA South and Central Asia Division and Thuc Pham, Vietnamese Service, contributed to this report.

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